ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB-TV) – A Buffalo Bill and some members of the Bills Mafia are teaming up to raise money for ovarian cancer research.
They were inspired to work together when they learned they’d both been affected by the disease.
Lorenzo Alexander, a fan favorite for his commitment both on and off the field, is using his platform to raise awareness and money in a new fundraising event called “Sink Cancer with Cornhole.”
He wanted to create the fundraiser for his good friends, former NFL kicker Billy Cundiff and his wife Nicole.
Nicole Cundiff lost her mother to ovarian cancer in 2013, and their family started Colleen’s Dream Foundation.
“They’re like family to me. My kids call her Auntie, their kids call me Uncle,” Alexander said. “And so when you’ve been touched by someone where it’s personal, you definitely want to step up.”
Number 57 was looking for help organizing the cornhole tournament, so he reached out to Patti Bax, a huge Bills fan he always found himself running into at events, who has experience with fundraisers. Little did he know how meaningful this would be to her.
“I actually got chills when I read his e-mail, and I was like wow, that is just…I don’t really believe that anything is coincidental, I believe that there’s a higher reason for it,” Bax said.
Her sister, Mary Hayward, is battling stage 3 ovarian cancer.
“I think it’s awesome because when I met Lorenzo, I told him it’s so important for us to share our stories. He lost someone dear to him that had ovarian cancer, and when he heard about my story, you know, we had a lot in common. A lot that we had gone through emotionally,” Hayward said.
Now, Bax and Hayward are both involved in planning the event.
“And over time, just formed a friendship. They do their own thing as far as raising awareness for ovarian cancer, and I’ve helped them out there as well, and so it just made sense to do something together you know, along with the Bills, to make a huge impact here in the community to help them and the other families that are impacted by ovarian cancer,” Alexander said.
As Hayward fights through the reoccurrence, she and Bax have been happy to help Alexander, who is hosting the cornhole tournament Saturday, October 19 inside the Bills’ field house. Lorenzo’s goal is to fill the training facility without 400 people, or 200 teams.
Hayward is part of a clinical trial to improve ovarian cancer treatment and has delved into giving back in any way she can to improve the outcome for ovarian cancer patients in the future. It’s why she’s happy to be involved with Alexander’s fundraiser.
“That’s how I want to be remembered. As somebody who’s giving back and somebody who can make a difference in the treatment for ovarian cancer,” Hayward said. “And that’s my mission, and that’s what’s important to me.”
“Any way I can help or serve anybody, I just…that’s what I’ve been put on this earth to do,” Alexander said.
SIGN UP TO SINK CANCER ON OCTOBER 19
The game is the day before the home game against Miami, so Alexander is hoping for a big turnout.
There will be food, cash prizes for the winners, and door prizes.
You can register your team on the Eventbrite page.